Noel Whelan admits his heart bleeds for Leeds United youngster Charlie Cresswell after his debut match for England’s under-19s was abandoned. 

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, has lauded the young centre-back for his “exceptional” rise through the ranks at Elland Road.

As reported by BBC Radio Leeds’ Adam Pope, the 17-year-old had scored on his debut for the Young Lions against Scotland on Thursday but the game was called off at half-time after a positive Covid-19 test for a member of staff.

 

A graduate of the youth system at Elland Road, Cresswell made his debut for Leeds in the League Cup defeat to Hull City last month.

Whelan admits he was blown away by the young defender against the Tigers and that Thursday’s cancelled game was a real kick in the teeth for the youngster.

Whelan told Football Insider: “You know, God, it’s terrible, isn’t it? You get your first goal and then the game’s abandoned.

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“It’s like your worst nightmare, you score a goal for your country and the game gets abandoned.

“Another centre-half, when I watched him in the cup game against Hull, he was exceptional. For such a young lad at that age, he’s going to really develop into a top-class centre-half.

“The fact that now we’ve got three international centre-halves at the club, he’s only going to get better learning from them as well.”

Cresswell’s debut against Hull was his first-ever involvement in a matchday squad for Leeds.

He has the likes of captain Liam Cooper, Germany international Robin Koch and Spain star Diego Llorente as competition at centre-back.

In other Leeds United news, Alan Hutton has compared an Elland Road star to new Manchester United man Edinson Cavani.